Nucleases are widely present in the laboratory environment and can interfere with many experiments. In particular, single-stranded RNases are ubiquitous, hard to eliminate, and can rapidly degrade important samples used in microarray studies, real-time PCR, northern blots, or cDNA cloning.
IDT has developed reagents that allow for rapid, sensitive detection of RNases and DNases. These reagents are fluorescence-quenched oligonucleotide probes that emit a fluorescence signal only after nuclease degradation. The assay can be read visually or measured and quantified using fluorometry. Assays can be used qualitatively to test lab reagents, equipment, and supplies for nuclease contamination. Assays can be used quantitatively to study enzyme kinetics. Two oligonucleotide substrates are available: one designed to detect RNases and the second designed to detect DNases. The RNaseAlert® substrate employs a FAM™ reporter (Em 520 nm). The DNaseAlert™ substrate employs a HEX™ reporter (Em 555 nm).